No Stars For You, Mrs. Johnson

Confidence, self-esteem, validation, and greatness.

These are qualities we all crave, but none of them are automatic in life. Many of us grow up trying to find ways to cope. We reach out for our validation and affection in places that aren’t expected. We’re like grass growing from cracks in the sidewalks. Resilient. Stubborn. Read the biography of John Lennon or listen to John Lydon of the Sex Pistols tell his story.

My teacher

I was four and a half when I started school, and that’s when I noticed that I was different. It’s at this time that most of us started some type of formal school. We either fit in or stick out like sore thumbs, awkward and in pain.

Whether we were the culprit that spilled the glue that pooled onto the floor or we forgot to bring a pencil and had to borrow one from another student. At some time there was the look of disgust.

I remember Mrs. Johnson, my third grade teacher and her clock shaped like a black cat. It had a tail that flicked back and forth distracting me from listening. She liked to ridicule her students. With me, she also sighed a lot. I was usually the last in line, not in a big hurry. I never felt she liked me. So here’s my turn around; I give no stars to Mrs. Johnson. Well, maybe two stars for being there on time.

Who is on your list? Is it a teacher or a family member?  I hope you take a moment and give yourself the love you need, because you’re worth it.


  1. It was probably my mom that helped me the most. She would say things like Mrs. Johnson isn’t very patient. Mom also would say that Mrs. Johnson didn’t seem like a good teacher. Very fortunate that I didn’t internalize. We all need a Mr. Humphry or a mom to see things plainly. 🙂


  2. You actually had the maturity to think “no stars for you!” in the third grade, Janet? I’m impressed.

    It took me many years to sort out which of my early teachers were wonderful (many, fortunately), and which out-wickeded the witch that ::SPOILER ALERT!:: melted toward the end of The Wizard of Oz.

    My personal nemeses was Miss Wiegand – my first high school Algebra II/Trig teacher. I think she *despised* me (Mr. Humphry, a male teacher who liked me a lot reframed it as jealousy when he caught me crying in a nook outside that particular classroom, but her behavior toward me was horrible none-the-less).

    Miss W. had a thing for t-strap shoes, which I cannot stand even now, 50 years later!!

    I had unusually long legs, even then, and un-dx’d ADD, so I was so uncomfortable I couldn’t really concentrate sitting forward in those chairs with the desks attached. Yet she was ON me every time I unconsciously moved by legs sideways, out from under the desk – she seemed to delight in embarrassing me in front of the entire class in a myriad of ways.

    She also took points off my papers that she let slide with others – and, as a fairly solid A/B student, hers was the first “bad” grade I’d ever gotten — besides relatively consistent C’s in gym, which I hated, heat defensive as I eventually learned I am. (I was always overheating, but unable to figure out, at the time, why the other kids could handle things I could not). If Miss W had been a gym teacher I’d probably have ended up in the hospital!

    NO STARS for YOU, Ms. Wiegand – and a double helping of negative karma for ruining math for me forever (not to mention my GPA!)

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

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